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Liszt: Complete Piano Music Box set
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Since almost all of the individual CDs have been reviewed separately here on Amazon, I will endeavor to review the physical aspects of the set. First, the box: it is quite sturdy, very smooth to the touch, and not at all like some of the cheap offerings from other classical labels. Inside are the 99 CDs, arranged as they might be if sitting on a CD shelf, and color-coded by sleeve as follows:
Discs 1-6: Etudes and early works
Discs 7-19: Major original compositions
Discs 20-29: Dances, marches, & transcriptions of Liszt's own works
Discs 30-36: Pieces on national themes
Discs 37-49: Operatic fantasies, transcriptions, and paraphrases
Discs 50-61: Concert transcriptions
Discs 62-69: The Beethoven transcriptions
Discs 70-79: The Schubert transcriptions
Discs 80-94: Rare works and new discoveries
Discs 95-99: Music for piano and orchestra
Each individual cardboard sleeve lists the contents for that individual disc, with track timings. Sitting on top of the discs is a very slick booklet, which contains the following:
-A biography of Leslie Howard.Read more ›
I have been followong Leslie Howard's complete-Liszt-piano-music project from afar for a number of years. I assumed (always dangerous)he was a second-tier pianist trying to make a name for himself by attacking a humungous feat. His article in Wikipedea makes no mention of any activity in the United States, which was another strike against him.
I was wrong. His playing is world-clss technically and musically. The quality is persistent throughout, with an unceasing elan. You'd think he'd approach some of the music lackadaisically: "Ho hum, another thirty waltzes today." Not so, at least not in the samples I listened to.
Okay, I figured, let's start with The Sonata. As good as any I've heard. The Beethoven-symphony transcriptions: better than any I've heard. Opera paraphrases and transcriptions: Superb.
Comments on the opera works: such works were allegedly written for home use because so few poeple would afford to go to live performances. If so, the amateur players at home must have beeen awfully talented, because it sounds like it would take players of Liszt's talent to play them. Second, they are best listened a disc at a time, because there are only so many "frills" Liszt could use -- scales and cadensas in thirds and fifths, arpeggios, thundering bass (How often is bass not "thundering"?) -- and in time they can become tiresome, although through no fault of Howard's. Many of them address operas by composers who have passed into the darkness of obscurity.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Have numerous editions of most of this; CD and LP. Liszt's piano music is magnificent. The best edition of Weinen, Klagen... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ohnesorg
As I child, I learned of Liszt's music from his orchestral music. Smash, bang, not all that impressive. Read morePublished 23 months ago by K. Conover
I waited a long time before purchasing this item.Finally bought it and glad I did as I am now through the 7th disc and can't wait for the next. Read morePublished on June 5, 2013 by John F. Kreutz
My intentions in writing this review is not to argue with or to duplicate that which has previously been written. Read morePublished on February 10, 2013 by Coffee Bean Lover
Buy it... Just buy it. It is excellent!!! Liszt is so well known but there is a lot of his piano scores that have gone unnoticed but not to Leslie Howard; who spent a vast amount... Read morePublished on January 17, 2013 by Musician101
How about a bargain, I started collecting individual CD, collected 17 disc, which cost me more than what I have paid for the box set (99 CDs). Read morePublished on September 26, 2012 by Basia
The reviews of this I read, one in particular, do a great job of describing what's in the set and how it's arranged. Read morePublished on December 10, 2011 by Joe Hart
This box set is epic!
I've been waiting years for this to be released in a single box. I once wrote to Hyperion urging them to do so. Read more